Latin American and European experts seek solutions to face environmental challenges in the X Biodiversity Forum

  07 October 2013

The meeting focused on community management initiatives as a tool to mitigate the effects of climate change and to involve the population in adaptation strategies.

Community management of natural resources and the challenges that climate change means for it have been the main focus of the X Biodiversity Forum of the Spanish Committee of IUCN: "Designing sustainable governance and management models for the sustainable management of natural resources to face environmental challenges "held at the University of Cordoba (UCO) on the 24th and 25th of September. 

This event was carried out within the context of the project COMET-LA, “Community Management of Environmental Challenges in Latin America”, funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission, coordinated by UCO and where the CeUICN plays and active role.

The Forum brought together American and European experts facing a common problem, climate change, a major and challenging issue, such as bridging positions between the needs of society and scientific research, or the involvement of citizens in climate change adaptation strategies.

The Forum exposed many different alternatives and very heterogeneous solutions from the scientific and academic visions, and from a social and gender perspective, through various practical examples of adaptation to climate change in both Latin America and Spain.

Community management against climate change

Especially, the Forum had an impact on community management initiatives as a means to mitigate the effects of climate change and involve the population in adaptation strategies. In order to develop this type of management, several key factors have been identified to trigger it off.

The first is the need to create a climate of trust between researchers, decision makers and the community in order to develop participatory tools used in community management initiatives.

During the Forum, the research tools used in the project COMET-LA were presented: those relating the characterization of the social-ecological systems through Ostrom´s framework, and prospective structural analysis (PSA).

Emphasis was made on the need for adapting these tools to the communities, such as the need for using oral and visual language appropriate for each working group, including a gender perspective and identifying key community stakeholders, both internal and external .

As one of the main conclusions, the Forum showed a big challenge when it comes to seek solutions that allow for a model of effective and sustainable governance of natural resources: "The need to create legitimate, representative and inclusive coordinative spaces with the capacity to influence decisions to face environmental challenges”.